The community of North Staney Hill in Lerwick has been selected to receive a cash boost from the Scottish government to tackle anti-social behaviour.
North Staney Hill Community Association is to benefit from £10,000 to build on its efforts to renew a sense of community in the area and overcome the negative assumptions that are made about it, along with four other areas in Scotland.
Importantly, the community will be central to deciding how its money is used, as members will get the chance to put forward their ideas and vote for the one they would most like to see come to fruition.
The money could be used in a range of ways, whether it be a youth club, a lunch club, an old folks’ group, or a parent and toddlers’ group.
Two representatives of the North Staney Hill community association will travel to the launch of the project in Edinburgh on Thursday with the council’s environmental health services manager Maggie Dunne, where they will begin the training in the process of participatory budgeting.
Two sessions are then planned for within the community. The first will be a chance for members of the community to talk about their priorities, and during the second the community will get the chance to vote for the ideas they feel will most benefit them.
Ms Dunne said: “The big outcome will be greater understanding within the community of what it’s like to live there and what different people’s needs’ are.”
Community safety minister Fergus Ewing said: “Antisocial behaviour is a visible symptom of deep-rooted problems such as lack of opportunity and the effects of drink, drugs and deprivation. Such behaviour can bring misery to people living in our communities.
“I believe strongly that it is decent people in those communities who hold the key for turning things round. That is why I am delighted to announce funding for these projects – all of them chosen because they involve local residents deciding priorities for action and resources.
“Whether it is, for example, a community led health project in Auchtermuchty or a community association in Shetland, all of these projects have demonstrated that they have what it takes to deliver on shared objectives – and to deliver a safer, stronger Scotland.”
Ms Dunne said anyone who would like to be involved should get in touch with the community association, and look out for posters in the area. Representatives from environmental health going door to door to gather opinions.